Applications for our inaugural Diversity Fellowship are due April 1. The fellowship is for students and early-career science writers undertaking summer science journalism internships. Two fellows will receive $5,000 to supplement any stipends they receive from their summer employer. The fellowship is open to any underrepresented minority who intends to complete a science-journalism internship during the summer of 2017.
Veteran science journalist Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter for Nature and a longtime lecturer in the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, became the program’s third director in January. Check Hayden was selected by a committee of UCSC faculty and alumni after a national search. She succeeds current director Robert Irion, who is retiring from the university after leading the program for 10 years.
As a 23-year-old postgraduate student working with Edward Teller in 1951, Richard Garwin came up with the design that led to the hydrogen bomb, Joel Shurkin reports. Outside of a small group in Los Alamos, however, Garwin’s role was completely unknown, Shurkin asserts in True Genius: The Life and Work of Richard Garwin, The Most Influential Scientist You Never Heard of. Garwin’s other inventions include air traffic control systems and the first laser printer. Of the bomb, Shurkin notes, Garwin once said, “If I had a magic wand, I would make it go away.”
Congratulations, you’ve been awarded a fellowship to the tune of $10,000. Don’t lose part of the largess by needlessly overpaying your self-employment tax. While you’re liable for income taxes on the $10,000, you’re not liable for self-employment taxes on the amount. How come? Because, like other writers, you aren’t in the business of receiving fellowships.
“Urban walking is simply the best way to get to know a place and to develop deeper connections to its story,” David Williams insists. In Seattle Walks, he provides 18 maps and 50 color illustrations for walks in his home town that take readers to such sites as a downtown building with dozens of carved faces, an unexpected Civil War cemetery, Seattle’s most infamous lost ship, and one of the city’s earliest houses of ill-repute. Seattle visitors and armchair travelers will enjoy tagging along.
Lane DeGregory spent months watching Ted Andrews, an 81-year-old artist with ALS, as he struggled along with his wife, Carolyn, to maintain control of the end of his life. DeGregory writes about her reporting process for the Tampa Bay Times story: "We had to learn to be patient, listen to the same stories five or six times, let him have his say, lay his legacy – then gently steer him back to what we needed to ask."
More than 40 years after the final Apollo missions, it's prime time for deep space travel again, and Mars is in our sights, Tabitha M. Powledge writes: "There’s a planet that’s truly nearby, one that with some work could sustain life-as-we-know it, one with water and enough sunlight for food crops, one that, with some improvements in current spacecraft technologies, we could get to after a journey of only nine months or so and within the lifetimes of most of us."
The Reynolds Journalism Institute studied 500 social media posts by 14 news outlets to produce a report on the good and bad in the media's social media efforts, including a list of "ideas worth stealing." One tip: "Embrace your humanity. Users are inviting your voice into their social feed, which is full of people talking to other people. Try to be a natural part of that ongoing conversation. Think about language that highlights common ground and values."
NASW joins 80+ organizations in signing a statement on #pressfreedom prepared by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). Read the statement here.
“Is genetic knowledge empowering or fear-inducing, or both? Will it heighten the anxieties of already hyper-anxious helicopter moms and dads, always waiting for the genetic shoe to drop? … Will it stress parents out or make them savvier?” — Bonnie Rochman poses these questions in The Gene Machine, as she explores not only present and potential advantages of genetic screening of fetuses and children, but also its drawbacks.